People urged to avoid A&E this weekend as hospitals in northern Lincolnshire come under pressure

People are being urged to "choose wisely" this weekendPeople are being urged to "choose wisely" this weekend
People are being urged to "choose wisely" this weekend
A hospital trust is urging people to avoid A&E in the coming days "if at all possible."

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust is expecting its emergency departments at Grimsby and Scunthorpe to be stretched this weekend.

Some routine operations were postponed this week to ensure staff are available in A&E this weekend.

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The pressure is coming from factors including the influx of holidaymakers to resorts on the Lincolnshire coast and agency staff being lured to other hospitals like Lincoln and Doncaster by higher rates of pay.

Medical and nursing staff who are on annual leave have been asked to come in on a higher rate of pay for the next seven days.

Associate chief nurse-medicine Paul Kirton-Watson said: "We are predicting some serious high volume around A&E. We know Lincoln (Hospital) is experiencing some really tough stresses and strains and pressures on the system.

"People from Louth, Skegness, Mablethorpe, Sutton-on-Sea, people who would normally go to Lincoln A&E, some of them are starting to be transferred to us."

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Mr Kirton-Watson urged people "to choose wisely with self-care or by speaking to their pharmacist about minor illnesses and injuries, rather than attending one of our hospitals."

He added: "We have a sign saying 'accident and emergency' - the public needs to understand it doesn't stand for anything and everything."

People can call 01472 256256 in North East Lincolnshire or NHS 111 in North Lincolnshire for advice about minor injuries and accidents.